Archive: May 2014

  1. Rock the Disabled Vote in South Carolina!

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    Photo with the text, Rock the Disabled Vote.  Image has the disability symbol holding up signs, spelling out the word "vote."

    2014 is a midterm election year, and it is imperative for South Carolinians with disabilities to rock the disabled vote!  Voting is our civil right in this country, and you should not be prevented to exercise this right simply because you have a disability.  I grew up in a household where politics was discussed, and I saw my beloved Grandmother rock her vote each election year.  Due to her example, I have been a registered voter since I turned 18, and have voted in every election since.  Needless to say, I will be exercising my right to vote on Tuesday, July 10th, 2014 for the South Carolina Primary, and on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 for the General Election.

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  2. The ADA, Service Animals, & Places of Business: Know Your Rights!

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    The summer season means that people with disabilities will be exploring public venues within and outside of their communities.  If you use a service animal, your lifeline to independence and safety, may not be welcomed by certain businesses.  It is imperative to know your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to identify and report discrimination you may experience at such venues.

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  3. Marriage & Cohabitation: A Right or A Privilege for People with Disabilities?

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    The right to marriage and cohabitation as persons with disabilities are not always granted or respected in society.  I learned about a case in New York where a newlywed couple filed a discrimination claim against a group home that refused to allow them to live together.  Paul Forziano and Hava Samuels are in their 30s, and have intellectual disabilities.  They wed April 2013, and made the request to live together as a married couple to the group home.  The group home denied their request, stating that the arrangement would be “impossible” and “fraught with difficulties.”  The couple and their parents ardently believed that not allowing them to live together violated their rights, and they filed a lawsuit regarding their claim.  Last month, a federal judge struck down their lawsuit, on the grounds that the couple did not prove that they were discriminated against by the group home because of their disability statuses.  Forziano and Samuels plan to appeal their case.

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  4. May 6th is Wishbone Day: Raising Awareness about Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI)

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    I Am Wishbone Day campaign flyer with Vilissa's image in the center

    May 6th is Wishbone Day, an international awareness day for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), better known as “brittle bones.”  The idea for Wishbone Day was birthed at the Australian OI Conference, held in 2008.  There was a discussion about how to raise more awareness about OI, which is one of the lesser-known congenital disorders in America, and abroad.  Those who attended the conference decided to declare May 6th as the date for an OI awareness day.  On May 6th, 2010, the first Wishbone Day was celebrated, and the growth of this special day has grown exponentially, reaching North America, and parts of South America, Europe, and Asia.  This awareness day is very dear to me because I am a person living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta.  There are an estimated 25,000 – 50,000 people thought to be affected with OI in the United States.

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